The New Orleans Saints have released former Steelers wide receiver James Washington to sign veteran running back Darrel Williams, the team announced on Tuesday.
Back in January, the Dallas Cowboys cut Washington after a murky tenure with the team. After that, he caught on with the New York Giants, heading to their practice squad. Washington would sign with the Saints in May, giving him another opportunity, but he could not turn it into anything.
Washington, 26, signed with the Cowboys as an unrestricted free agent last offseason on a one-year, $1.18 million contract with the Cowboys after spending his first four seasons with the Steelers. He suffered a broken foot in training camp and wasn’t able to join the Dallas lineup until Week 14. In two games, he played just 15 snaps and saw only one target. When the Cowboys signed unrestricted free agent T.Y. Hilton ahead of Week 16, Hilton took Washington’s spot in the lineup.
A 5-foot-11, 213-pound native of Abilene, Texas, the Steelers drafted Washington in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He had his best season in 2019, when Washington and fellow former Oklahoma State Cowboy Mason Rudolph teamed up while Ben Roethlisberger was injured. Washington caught 44 passes for 735 yards that season, both career highs.
With Roethlisberger back in the fold in 2020 and the introduction of Claypool to the offense, Washington saw his targets reduced. But he was still a productive red zone threat, catching five touchdown passes. Seeing his role reduced, Washington requested a trade in advance of the 2021 season, which was not granted. He caught 24 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns in that season before moving on in free agency.
Now, it is unsure to see where Washington will go from here. His career is at a bit of a crossroads right before the start of the season, and he will have some decisions to mull over.